Model Deployment #data #mining #methods #and #models


#

Model Deployment

The concept of deployment in predictive data mining refers to the application of a model for prediction to new data. Building a model is generally not the end of the project. Even if the purpose of the model is to increase knowledge of the data, the knowledge gained will need to be organized and presented in a way that the customer can use it. Depending on the requirements, the deployment phase can be as simple as generating a report or as complex as implementing a repeatable data mining process. In many cases, it will be the customer, not the data analyst, who will carry out the deployment steps. For example, a credit card company may want to deploy a trained model or set of models (e.g. neural networks, meta-learner) to quickly identify transactions, which have a high probability of being fraudulent. However, even if the analyst will not carry out the deployment effort it is important for the customer to understand up front what actions will need to be carried out in order to actually make use of the created models.

Model deployment methods:

In general, there is four way of deploying the models in data mining.

  1. D ata mining tools (or cloud)
  2. P rogramming language ( Java, C, VB, �)
  3. Database and SQL script (TSQL, PL-SQL, �)
  4. PMML (Predictive Model Markup Language)

The following table shows the result of a survey on the different methods of model deployment (KDnuggets ).

An example of using a data mining tool (Orange ) to deploy a decision tree model.

An example of using a programming language (Visual Basic) to deploy a regression model.

Same regression model deployed in the SQL script.

Predictive Model Markup Language (PMML)

PMML is an XML-based language used to define statistical and data mining models and to share these between compliant applications. It defines a standard not only to represent data-mining models, but also data handling and data transformations (pre and post processing). PMML is developed by DMG to avoid proprietary issues and incompatibilities and to deploy models. PMML eliminates the need for custom model deployment and allows for the clear separation of model development and model deployment tasks. The following data mining methods are supported by PMML.

  • Regression
  • Neural Networks
  • Support Vector Machines
  • Decision Trees
  • Na�ve Bayes
  • Clustering
  • Sequences
  • Rule Sets
  • Association Rules
  • Time-Series
  • Text Models
  1. Pre-Processing
    • Data Dictionary: Allows for the explicit specification of valid, invalid and missing values.
    • Mining Schema: Used to define the appropriate treatment to be applied to missing and invalid values.
    • Transformations: Allow for variable discretization, normalization, and mapping with handling of missing and default values.
    • Built-in Functions: Arithmetic expressions, handling of date and time as well as strings. In addition, used for implementing IF-THEN-ELSE logic and Boolean operations.
  2. Models
    • PMML allows for several predictive modeling techniques to be fully expressed.
  3. Post-Processing
    • Scaling of model outputs can be performed with PMML element Targets.

Header. contains general information about the PMML document, such as copyright information for the model, its description, and information about the application used to generate the model such as name and version. It also contains an attribute for a timestamp which can be used to specify the date of model creation.

Data Dictionary. contains definitions for all the possible fields used by the model. It is here that a field is defined as continuous, categorical, or ordinal. Depending on this definition, the appropriate value ranges are then defined as well as the data type (such as, string or double).

Data Transformations. transformations allow for the mapping of user data into a more desirable form to be used by the mining model. PMML defines several kinds of simple data transformations.

  • Normalization: map values to numbers, the input can be continuous or discrete.
  • Discretization: map continuous values to discrete values.
  • Value mapping: map discrete values to discrete values.
  • Functions: derive a value by applying a function to one or more parameters.
  • Aggregation: used to summarize or collect groups of values.

Model. contains the definition of the data mining model. For example a fee-forward neural network is represented in PMML by a “NeuralNetwork” element which contains attributes such as:

  • Model Name (attribute modelName)
  • Function Name (attribute functionName)
  • Algorithm Name (attribute algorithmName)
  • Activation Function (attribute activationFunction)
  • Number of Layers (attribute numberOfLayers)

Mining Schema. the mining schema lists all fields used in the model. This can be a subset of the fields as defined in the data dictionary. It contains specific information about each field, such as:

  • Name (attribute name): must refer to a field in the data dictionary
  • Usage type (attribute usageType): defines the way a field is to be used in the model. Typical values are: active, predicted, and supplementary. Predicted fields are those whose values are predicted by the model.
  • Outlier Treatment (attribute outliers): defines the outlier treatment to be use. In PMML, outliers can be treated as missing values, as extreme values (based on the definition of high and low values for a particular field), or as is.
  • Missing Value Replacement Policy (attribute missingValueReplacement): if this attribute is specified then a missing value is automatically replaced by the given values.
  • Missing Value Treatment (attribute missingValueTreatment): indicates how the missing value replacement was derived (e.g. as value, mean or median).

Targets. allow for post-processing of the predicted value in the format of scaling if the output of the model is continuous. Targets can also be used for classification tasks. In this case, the attribute prior Probability specifies a default probability for the corresponding target category. It is used if the prediction logic itself did not produce a result. This can happen, e.g. if an input value is missing and there is no other method for treating missing values.

PMML 4.0 � New Features

  • Improved Pre-Processing Capabilities
    • Additions to built-in functions include a range of Boolean operations and an If-Then-Else function.
  • Time Series Models
    • New exponential Smoothing models; also place holders for ARIMA, Seasonal Trend Decomposition, and Spectral Analysis, which are to be supported in the near future.
  • Model Explanation
    • Saving of evaluation and model performance measures to the PMML file itself.
  • Multiple Models
    • Capabilities for model composition, ensembles, and segmentation (e.g. combining of regression and decision trees).
  • Extensions of Existing Elements
    • Addition of multi-class classification for Support Vector Machines, improved representation for Association Rules, and the addition of Cox Regression Models.

How to Find Models for Your Photo Shoot #models,modelling,photo #shoot,photography,gig,hiring,model,photos,photoshoot,tips # # #tricks,articles


#

Contrastly Premium Lightroom Presets And Photoshop Actions For Photography Enthusiasts

Yes, I want this!

How to Find Models for Your Photo Shoot

A photo shoot or photo session is one of the things that both photographers and models value. It can be done inside a studio or at a location that matches the shoot’s theme or concept. It can be for a magazine or newspaper article, for a publicity campaign, for a fashion designer or store, or for product/service advertising.

There are times when a photo shoot does not involve a person, like product shoots. Most, however, involve a living, breathing model.

Photo shoots give photographers a chance to explore their creativity and express their ideas for a particular theme. These shoots are also avenues for learning, improvement and exposure. On the models’ part, photo shoots will add value to their credentials. At the same time, it will also help them establish contacts (with photographers, makeup artists and all the people involved in the shoot).

A client normally requests a photo shoot; unless you’re doing it to simply add to your résumé or portfolio. Or you’re doing it for experience. If you work with/for a client, there will be specific model requirements you need to follow, apart from the theme or concept, of course. This is why it is important to know how to find or get the right model/s for a photo shoot.

What to Look For in a Model

First things first, before putting out an announcement for model casting, you should know the general factors you need to find in a good model. Here are some tips to help you out:

  • A model should have the right looks. Photographers have their own idea of the “perfect ” model look, but basically, you just need somebody who projects well on camera. There’s no stereotypical model look, actually. Tall or short, thin or curvaceous, blonde or brunette it doesn t matter really. The choice is yours.
  • A model should be confident and feel good about herself (or himself, if you need a male model). You’ll see this in the way a model walks, talks and projects. Talk to your prospects before making a decision.
  • A model should know the basics. She does not have to be Gisele Bundchen, and he doesn t need to be David Beckham; your model simply needs to have an idea of what a model should do such as the poses, facial expressions and projections.

Now that you have a basic idea of what to look for in a model, it’s time to move on and find out how you can get one.

Finding a Photo Shoot Model

One of the best ways to find a model is to go around and observe people. A lot of photographers often act like talent or casting directors and use their creative instincts in finding a model. Much of this, though, depends on the type of model that you are looking for.

So, if you need someone a little athletic or fit, go to the gym or a yoga class. If you need a model for a college-related campaign, look for your model in school campuses. Coordinate with the school or college administrators. The only downside to this technique is that you’ll probably get people who are not as experienced as professional or seasoned models. It’s the most cost effective option, though. In addition, some photographers, especially the newbies or amateurs, like the idea of getting models who are just starting out or trying to learn the ropes. You and your models can learn, explore and develop your skills together.

If you have a little more budget, however, you can always enlist the help of a casting agent or modelling agency. You may also find great talent on websites like Model Mayhem. These people usually have a pool of models that they can present to you. All that you need to do is look up their portfolio and decide which models you want to call.

You can also choose to go online and look for a modelling website. A good number of photographers also do this a lot. Some may ask for membership fees, but you can always go with the lowest rate or package and still find the models you need. The best thing about joining a modelling website which also goes for hiring a casting agent is that you are guaranteed to get professional models. These models know what to expect in a photo shoot; they know how to follow instructions.

You won’t have a difficult time asking them to interpret a concept because they can easily adapt to different poses. Likewise, modelling websites and agencies often categorize their models, so you’ll find it easy to look for advertising models, glamour models and fashion models, among other things.

What to Do After Finding a Model

Once you’ve decided which model/s to cast, you will need to meet (along with their agent) and finalize the details of your agreement and, of course, the shoot. You can also ask the agent for some sample photos from the model’s previous photo shoots so that you will have an idea early on about how you will set up the shoot and how it can be worked into your model’s style.

Some photographers set up trial photo shoots to get an idea of how things can turn out.

Should You Pay?

Photo shoots involve expenses, especially if you are doing them for a client or a project. If this is the case for you, then you will need to pay your model(s). The fee has to be included in the budget your client gives you.

If you enlist the help of casting agents or get your models from a modelling website, you should expect to pay your models. Rates vary according to the model’s level of experience, which agency they re with, how popular or in demand your model is and even what the purpose of the photo shoot is. Casting agents and modelling agencies normally get a cut from their models’ fees.

For photographers who are just starting out, there is always the option to the TFP way. TFP stands for Time for Print or Time for Portfolio (or Trade for Print/Trade for Portfolio). A TFP shoot means there is no exchange of money involved. Instead of an hourly fee, the model simply gets the prints or digital images from the photographer for free.

Models who are working on their portfolios or those who are in the self-promotion stage are usually the ones who go for TFP shoots. There are some cases of TFP shoots that are done for charitable causes. You can choose to go with the TFP option, but only if you are willing to work with beginner models.

About the Author: Michael Gabriel

Michael Gabriel L. Sumastre is an experienced freelance writer for hire. He has been professionally writing articles, blogs posts and tech content since 2005. Michael loves to take pictures of the countryside when he is touring with his motorcycle. He maintains his professional writing portfolio and personal blog at TheFinestWriter. You can also visit his photography portfolio at Sumastre Photography.

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Studio Lights Dos and Don’ts

8 Apps to Manage Your Photography Business From Afar

Contrastly Premium Lightroom Presets And Photoshop Actions For Photography Enthusiasts

Contrastly is a producer of premium Lightroom presets Photoshop actions, eBooks, resources for enthusiast photographers, as well as thought-provoking articles about the techniques that make great photographers.

Site Links

Copyright 2012-2017 Contrastly.com All Rights Reserved.

Free Lightroom Presets Photoshop Actions!

Subscribe to the Contrastly Dispatch newsletter today, and receive a free sample pack of 25 Lightroom presets and 5 Photoshop actions!


Retailers Are Missing Out On A $9 Billion Plus-Size Opportunity – Top Curvy Models #best


#plus size retailers

#

Retailers Are Missing Out On A $9 Billion Plus-Size Opportunity

Plus-size bloggers including Chastity Garner-Valentine were invited to the launch of Lilly Pulitzer for Target in New York City on April 15.

Retailers are largely ignoring plus-size women.

According to IBIS World, the market for plus-size women was worth $9 billion in 2014. The average woman in America is a size 14 (plus sizes are typically between sizes 14 and 34). Yet retailers barely cater to this crucial demographic.

Plus-size women have raised their voices, but that doesn t mean retailers are listening.

Earlier this year, Dana Drew created a petition on Change.org imploring Victoria s Secret to stock its stores with larger sizes.

I love Victoria s Secret so much that I even have their credit card, she wrote on her petition. My money and my credit are good enough for them, but the fact that I can only buy items like perfume, lotion, and body spray sends the message that my body is not. Every year I watch the Angel fashion show and would love to purchase the items I see on my screen but can t because Victoria s Secret doesn t sell plus sizes.

Many retailers send similar messages to plus-size women.

In 2013, Abercrombie was notoriously under fire for not selling XL and XXL women s sizes (the retailer still sold those sizes for men). Abercrombie s former CEO, Mike Jeffries, said he didn t want people wearing his company s clothes if he didn t think they were sexy.

In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids, he told Salon. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don t belong [in our clothes], and they can t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.

In 2013, Abercrombie gave in and started to sell larger sizes.

The popular teen retailer Brandy Melville sells only clothes for smaller women. Most of the clothes claim to be one size, but the one size is a small one (the clothes claim to fit size small/medium ).

In a passionate op-ed article in The Daily Trojan, the University of Southern California campus newspaper, student Rini Sampath described the key problem with this strategy.

One size does not fit most, she wrote. According to the Los Angeles Times, the average American woman is a size 14. The crop-tops and miniskirts that litter the shelves of Brandy Melville would barely cover the average American.

If the average American woman is a size 14, retailers are missing out.

Last year, ModCloth conducted a survey with the help of Paradigm Sample to highlight grievances of plus-size-women shoppers.

Unsurprisingly, 92% agreed with the statement I get upset when I can t find cute clothes in my size.

Sixty-five percent of all women agreed with the statement the retail industry ignores the needs of plus-size women. And only 28% of women agreed with the statement plus-size women are included in the fashion community.

More than half of the women sampled called plus-size offerings frumpy and shapeless. Forty-nine percent called the clothing boring.

It s not as if these women make up a sparse demographic. More than 50% of women Paradigm Sample spoke to wore at minimum size 16 in some stores, and more than one-third of the women combined regular and plus-size clothing. To highlight that statistic, Paradigm Sample pointed out that the number of women who wore a size 16 was more than the number of women who wore sizes 0, 2, and 4 combined.

Plus, these women are willing to spend.

Eighty-one percent of women said they would shell out the money if there were more options in their size. Eighty-eight percent said they would buy more clothes if there were trendier options in stores.

And plus-size women actually spend more than straight size women as it stands — 21% of plus-size women spend at minimum $150 a month on clothes and accessories, whereas only 15% of women in standard sizes do the same.

ModCloth notably sells clothing for plus-size women. In fact, when ModCloth was purchasing plus-size clothing from vendors, chief creative officer Susan Koger was confounded at how few vendors were willing to sell plus-size clothing at all. Out of 1,500 vendors she reached out to, only 35 responded.

So why are retailers avoiding an extremely profitable market?

It s likely fear.

This is only speculation, but the reason I would argue that why many non-plus-size designers don t go into plus size is fear, Amanda Czerniawski, sociology professor at Temple University, former plus-size model, and author of Fashioning Fat: Inside Plus-Size Modeling, told Business Insider. Now, there s two dimensions of this fear: It could be fear of [fat, like] Karl Lagerfeld — I don t want to be associated with fat people kind of thing because of the stigma maybe for some it could be this element, but I think overwhelmingly it s a fear of failure.

That failure to create flattering designs for these kinds of different bodies — and part of it is the fact many of these designers, when they go to design school, they re not taught to make clothes for plus-size bodies, she said.

It s fascinating why they re not being taught, why they re not being pushed, because there is such great potential, she added.

Kenyatta Jones, CEO of the clothing line Bella Rene (and a plus-size woman) told Huffington Post Live that the fashion industry had a serious misconception about the way plus-size women behave, and therefore shop, citing the false notion that they don t need clothes, all they do is eat Twinkies.

But some retailers are listening to these women. Target is tapping into this market with its line AVA + VIV, even if the clothing is meh, as Lindsay Louise of Jezebel put it.

There are, however, anomalies. Search plus-size clothing at Bloomingdale s, and clothing from designers such as Michael Kors, Eileen Fisher, and Ralph Lauren will appear.

But what Rachel Pally — of the designer plus-size collection Rachel Pally s White Label — told the Los Angeles Times in 2009 still rings true, based on ModCloth s survey. Fashion-forward plus-size women have no options, she said. They re so thirsty for the product It s like, Hello? Don t you guys want to make money?’ (Further suggesting that plus-size women will spend, in 2009 the Los Angeles Times highlighted that the White Label was one of the top-selling lines at Nordstrom.)

But some major mid-tier retailers do, in fact, sell plus-size clothing. The lingerie retailer Adore Me sells options for plus-size women. Fast-fashion giants Forever 21 and H M sell larger sizes, as well. But as the Los Angeles Times noted, plus size women are mostly restricted to online shopping.

To underscore that notion, plenty of popular brands are, in fact, selling larger sizes online — just not in stores, The Huffington Post reported. It seems as if retailers aren t willing to risk that plus-size women are willing to shop and spend money, even though there is evidence to the contrary.

One solution to solve this problem might be a shift in marketing.

One thing that would vastly improve visibility of the growing plus-size market is if designers who currently offer plus sizes invested more of their resources into publicizing and marketing their lines, offers Nicolette Mason, blogger and contributing fashion editor at Marie Claire, told Fashionista in 2013.


Supply Chain News: Understanding Retail Distribution Models #retail #manager #jobs


#retail distribution

#

Focus: Distribution/Materials Handling

From SCDigest’s On-Target E-Magazine

SCDigest Editorial Staff

Supply Chain News: Understanding Retail Distribution Models

Use of Crossdocking is Growing, but There are Pros and Cons to Each Approach, Says Auburn’s Kevin Gue

A few weeks ago, SCDigest published an article on different alternative building designs for crossdocking, based on research from Dr. John Bartholdi of Georgia Tech and Dr. Kevin Gue of Auburn University. (See Getting Cross Dock DC Design Right .)

That in turn led us to additional research Gue has done on crossdocking, especially in the retail sector where the practice of crossdocking is by the most common – indeed, it is difficult to find many examples of true crossdocking outside of the retail sector.

Gue observes that there are three primary models for delivering goods to retail stores:

SCDigest Says:

1. Traditional Warehousing/Distribution. in which vendors ship goods to retail DCs, where the goods are stored until store orders need fulfilled, where they are then picked (often using a wave process for batches of stores) and delivered to the stores.

2. Crossdock DCs. in which shipments from inbound suppliers are moved directly to outbound vehicles, with very little if any storage in between. In the best possible situation, products never touch the floor or a shelf, though some amount of staging is often used.

3. Direct to Store Delivery. in which vendors ship goods directly from their own facilities to retail store outlets.

In reality, many if not most retailers probably use some type of hybrid system, with an increasing number of them, for example, running both crossdock and traditional distribution operations in a single facility, which many thought too difficult to manage in the past.

Home products giant Home Depot, as another example, is substantially through a multi-year project to transform its model from one in which some 75% of goods were delivered by vendors direct to its stores and 25% from Home Depot DCs to the exact reverse of that. Home Depot is using a new network of crossdock-focused Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs) to get that job done.

Another model that is emerging is the so-called DC Bypass approach for imported goods, in which import DCs would transload the arriving containerized goods for manufacturers and ship the imported products directly to retail DCs – and maybe even retail stores – without the products moving into the manufacturer’s distribution network at all.

(Distribution/Materials Handling Story Continues Below)

For the first three models, Gue has nicely summarized the pros and cons of each approach in a summary graphic, as shown below.

Source: Kevin Gue/International Commerce Review

Looking at the chart, it might initially appear that the traditional distribution approach is the most costly – and while it clearly is from a handling only perspective, there are other considerations, Gue s ays.

Direct-to-store, he notes, has the disadvantages of some loss of control of stock availability, high costs of receiving at stores (imagine weekly shipments from every vendor), and often much higher transportation costs, since vendor shipments often use expensive less-than-truckload or parcel shipment modes.

The crossdock model also has some downsides. It also sacrifices some inventory control by not holding buffer stock between the vendor and store, but unlike shipping direct-to-store it maintains transportation efficiencies by consolidating small shipments into full truckloads for store deliveries.

While the benefits of reducing an entire layer of network inventory through the crossdock model are huge, there are other factors that must be considered, Gue says. For example:

(1) Lead time from order to delivery at the store is longer than with traditional distribution, so stores typically have to hold slightly more stock to hedge against stockouts. If vendors are far away, lead time could be several days.

(2) Unlike direct delivery from vendors, crossdocking requires the retailer to buy (or lease) and operate crossdocks, or to pay a third-party logistics provider to do so.

(3) Crossdocking requires greater coordination with vendors, sometimes with painful details of implementation.

Still, the trend clearly seems to be towards greater use of crossdocking in retail.

Next week, we will look at Gu e’s recommendations on where each model fits best, and how to make the transition from one to another.

What would you add to Gue’s summary of retail distribution models? Are there good reasons not to crossdock in retail? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

Solid article, concise summary of the trends in place. The other advantage of a Deconsolidation/Transload program at a gateway facility for imported container merchandise it allows the customer to postpone distribution decisions for another 2-3 weeks. This allows for flexibility in responding to demand changes.

In my experience, retailers can employ more than one and sometimes all 3 methods, depending on the merchandise category and priorities for their network.

Tom Donovan
President
tdSHIPS. Inc.

The pictorial model is nice and concise, my only concern is that the comparison of material handling does not ring true for traditional versus cross dock as a direct comparison as my experience tells me costs get pushed upstream in a cross dock environment which would probably require a more holistic diagnostic.

The Distributors National Support

I am curious, can you explain a bit more what you mean? Do you mean back to suppliers?

Yes that is correct the supplier would end up with increased costs, e.g. if the less than full truck load is made up of less than full pallets, then the picking and preparation would have to be done at the vendor resulting in an increased cost in their supply chain. Australia also has some interesting models where convenience retailers BP / 7-Eleven / Caltex (Chevron) have set up cross dock facilities and no one can definitely say if they are more or less efficient.


Retailers Are Missing Out On A $9 Billion Plus-Size Opportunity – Top Curvy Models #top


#plus size retailers

#

Retailers Are Missing Out On A $9 Billion Plus-Size Opportunity

Plus-size bloggers including Chastity Garner-Valentine were invited to the launch of Lilly Pulitzer for Target in New York City on April 15.

Retailers are largely ignoring plus-size women.

According to IBIS World, the market for plus-size women was worth $9 billion in 2014. The average woman in America is a size 14 (plus sizes are typically between sizes 14 and 34). Yet retailers barely cater to this crucial demographic.

Plus-size women have raised their voices, but that doesn t mean retailers are listening.

Earlier this year, Dana Drew created a petition on Change.org imploring Victoria s Secret to stock its stores with larger sizes.

I love Victoria s Secret so much that I even have their credit card, she wrote on her petition. My money and my credit are good enough for them, but the fact that I can only buy items like perfume, lotion, and body spray sends the message that my body is not. Every year I watch the Angel fashion show and would love to purchase the items I see on my screen but can t because Victoria s Secret doesn t sell plus sizes.

Many retailers send similar messages to plus-size women.

In 2013, Abercrombie was notoriously under fire for not selling XL and XXL women s sizes (the retailer still sold those sizes for men). Abercrombie s former CEO, Mike Jeffries, said he didn t want people wearing his company s clothes if he didn t think they were sexy.

In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids, he told Salon. Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don t belong [in our clothes], and they can t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.

In 2013, Abercrombie gave in and started to sell larger sizes.

The popular teen retailer Brandy Melville sells only clothes for smaller women. Most of the clothes claim to be one size, but the one size is a small one (the clothes claim to fit size small/medium ).

In a passionate op-ed article in The Daily Trojan, the University of Southern California campus newspaper, student Rini Sampath described the key problem with this strategy.

One size does not fit most, she wrote. According to the Los Angeles Times, the average American woman is a size 14. The crop-tops and miniskirts that litter the shelves of Brandy Melville would barely cover the average American.

If the average American woman is a size 14, retailers are missing out.

Last year, ModCloth conducted a survey with the help of Paradigm Sample to highlight grievances of plus-size-women shoppers.

Unsurprisingly, 92% agreed with the statement I get upset when I can t find cute clothes in my size.

Sixty-five percent of all women agreed with the statement the retail industry ignores the needs of plus-size women. And only 28% of women agreed with the statement plus-size women are included in the fashion community.

More than half of the women sampled called plus-size offerings frumpy and shapeless. Forty-nine percent called the clothing boring.

It s not as if these women make up a sparse demographic. More than 50% of women Paradigm Sample spoke to wore at minimum size 16 in some stores, and more than one-third of the women combined regular and plus-size clothing. To highlight that statistic, Paradigm Sample pointed out that the number of women who wore a size 16 was more than the number of women who wore sizes 0, 2, and 4 combined.

Plus, these women are willing to spend.

Eighty-one percent of women said they would shell out the money if there were more options in their size. Eighty-eight percent said they would buy more clothes if there were trendier options in stores.

And plus-size women actually spend more than straight size women as it stands — 21% of plus-size women spend at minimum $150 a month on clothes and accessories, whereas only 15% of women in standard sizes do the same.

ModCloth notably sells clothing for plus-size women. In fact, when ModCloth was purchasing plus-size clothing from vendors, chief creative officer Susan Koger was confounded at how few vendors were willing to sell plus-size clothing at all. Out of 1,500 vendors she reached out to, only 35 responded.

So why are retailers avoiding an extremely profitable market?

It s likely fear.

This is only speculation, but the reason I would argue that why many non-plus-size designers don t go into plus size is fear, Amanda Czerniawski, sociology professor at Temple University, former plus-size model, and author of Fashioning Fat: Inside Plus-Size Modeling, told Business Insider. Now, there s two dimensions of this fear: It could be fear of [fat, like] Karl Lagerfeld — I don t want to be associated with fat people kind of thing because of the stigma maybe for some it could be this element, but I think overwhelmingly it s a fear of failure.

That failure to create flattering designs for these kinds of different bodies — and part of it is the fact many of these designers, when they go to design school, they re not taught to make clothes for plus-size bodies, she said.

It s fascinating why they re not being taught, why they re not being pushed, because there is such great potential, she added.

Kenyatta Jones, CEO of the clothing line Bella Rene (and a plus-size woman) told Huffington Post Live that the fashion industry had a serious misconception about the way plus-size women behave, and therefore shop, citing the false notion that they don t need clothes, all they do is eat Twinkies.

But some retailers are listening to these women. Target is tapping into this market with its line AVA + VIV, even if the clothing is meh, as Lindsay Louise of Jezebel put it.

There are, however, anomalies. Search plus-size clothing at Bloomingdale s, and clothing from designers such as Michael Kors, Eileen Fisher, and Ralph Lauren will appear.

But what Rachel Pally — of the designer plus-size collection Rachel Pally s White Label — told the Los Angeles Times in 2009 still rings true, based on ModCloth s survey. Fashion-forward plus-size women have no options, she said. They re so thirsty for the product It s like, Hello? Don t you guys want to make money?’ (Further suggesting that plus-size women will spend, in 2009 the Los Angeles Times highlighted that the White Label was one of the top-selling lines at Nordstrom.)

But some major mid-tier retailers do, in fact, sell plus-size clothing. The lingerie retailer Adore Me sells options for plus-size women. Fast-fashion giants Forever 21 and H M sell larger sizes, as well. But as the Los Angeles Times noted, plus size women are mostly restricted to online shopping.

To underscore that notion, plenty of popular brands are, in fact, selling larger sizes online — just not in stores, The Huffington Post reported. It seems as if retailers aren t willing to risk that plus-size women are willing to shop and spend money, even though there is evidence to the contrary.

One solution to solve this problem might be a shift in marketing.

One thing that would vastly improve visibility of the growing plus-size market is if designers who currently offer plus sizes invested more of their resources into publicizing and marketing their lines, offers Nicolette Mason, blogger and contributing fashion editor at Marie Claire, told Fashionista in 2013.


Supply Chain News: Understanding Retail Distribution Models #retail #design #firms


#retail distribution

#

Focus: Distribution/Materials Handling

From SCDigest’s On-Target E-Magazine

SCDigest Editorial Staff

Supply Chain News: Understanding Retail Distribution Models

Use of Crossdocking is Growing, but There are Pros and Cons to Each Approach, Says Auburn’s Kevin Gue

A few weeks ago, SCDigest published an article on different alternative building designs for crossdocking, based on research from Dr. John Bartholdi of Georgia Tech and Dr. Kevin Gue of Auburn University. (See Getting Cross Dock DC Design Right .)

That in turn led us to additional research Gue has done on crossdocking, especially in the retail sector where the practice of crossdocking is by the most common – indeed, it is difficult to find many examples of true crossdocking outside of the retail sector.

Gue observes that there are three primary models for delivering goods to retail stores:

SCDigest Says:

1. Traditional Warehousing/Distribution. in which vendors ship goods to retail DCs, where the goods are stored until store orders need fulfilled, where they are then picked (often using a wave process for batches of stores) and delivered to the stores.

2. Crossdock DCs. in which shipments from inbound suppliers are moved directly to outbound vehicles, with very little if any storage in between. In the best possible situation, products never touch the floor or a shelf, though some amount of staging is often used.

3. Direct to Store Delivery. in which vendors ship goods directly from their own facilities to retail store outlets.

In reality, many if not most retailers probably use some type of hybrid system, with an increasing number of them, for example, running both crossdock and traditional distribution operations in a single facility, which many thought too difficult to manage in the past.

Home products giant Home Depot, as another example, is substantially through a multi-year project to transform its model from one in which some 75% of goods were delivered by vendors direct to its stores and 25% from Home Depot DCs to the exact reverse of that. Home Depot is using a new network of crossdock-focused Regional Distribution Centers (RDCs) to get that job done.

Another model that is emerging is the so-called DC Bypass approach for imported goods, in which import DCs would transload the arriving containerized goods for manufacturers and ship the imported products directly to retail DCs – and maybe even retail stores – without the products moving into the manufacturer’s distribution network at all.

(Distribution/Materials Handling Story Continues Below)

For the first three models, Gue has nicely summarized the pros and cons of each approach in a summary graphic, as shown below.

Source: Kevin Gue/International Commerce Review

Looking at the chart, it might initially appear that the traditional distribution approach is the most costly – and while it clearly is from a handling only perspective, there are other considerations, Gue s ays.

Direct-to-store, he notes, has the disadvantages of some loss of control of stock availability, high costs of receiving at stores (imagine weekly shipments from every vendor), and often much higher transportation costs, since vendor shipments often use expensive less-than-truckload or parcel shipment modes.

The crossdock model also has some downsides. It also sacrifices some inventory control by not holding buffer stock between the vendor and store, but unlike shipping direct-to-store it maintains transportation efficiencies by consolidating small shipments into full truckloads for store deliveries.

While the benefits of reducing an entire layer of network inventory through the crossdock model are huge, there are other factors that must be considered, Gue says. For example:

(1) Lead time from order to delivery at the store is longer than with traditional distribution, so stores typically have to hold slightly more stock to hedge against stockouts. If vendors are far away, lead time could be several days.

(2) Unlike direct delivery from vendors, crossdocking requires the retailer to buy (or lease) and operate crossdocks, or to pay a third-party logistics provider to do so.

(3) Crossdocking requires greater coordination with vendors, sometimes with painful details of implementation.

Still, the trend clearly seems to be towards greater use of crossdocking in retail.

Next week, we will look at Gu e’s recommendations on where each model fits best, and how to make the transition from one to another.

What would you add to Gue’s summary of retail distribution models? Are there good reasons not to crossdock in retail? Let us know your thoughts at the Feedback button below.

Solid article, concise summary of the trends in place. The other advantage of a Deconsolidation/Transload program at a gateway facility for imported container merchandise it allows the customer to postpone distribution decisions for another 2-3 weeks. This allows for flexibility in responding to demand changes.

In my experience, retailers can employ more than one and sometimes all 3 methods, depending on the merchandise category and priorities for their network.

Tom Donovan
President
tdSHIPS. Inc.

The pictorial model is nice and concise, my only concern is that the comparison of material handling does not ring true for traditional versus cross dock as a direct comparison as my experience tells me costs get pushed upstream in a cross dock environment which would probably require a more holistic diagnostic.

The Distributors National Support

I am curious, can you explain a bit more what you mean? Do you mean back to suppliers?

Yes that is correct the supplier would end up with increased costs, e.g. if the less than full truck load is made up of less than full pallets, then the picking and preparation would have to be done at the vendor resulting in an increased cost in their supply chain. Australia also has some interesting models where convenience retailers BP / 7-Eleven / Caltex (Chevron) have set up cross dock facilities and no one can definitely say if they are more or less efficient.